Cattle Futures Surge Most in Six Months: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials rose 0.4 percent to settle at 665.33 at 3:45 p.m. in New York, led by livestock.

The UBS Bloomberg CMCI gauge of 26 prices advanced 0.3 percent to 1,593.76.

LIVESTOCK

Cattle surged the most in six months on signs of shrinking animal supplies in the U.S. and higher demand for beef as Japan eased restrictions for imports.

U.S. feedlots bought 0.5 percent fewer cattle in December compared with a year earlier, the Department of Agriculture said after the close of regular trading on Jan. 25, surprising analysts who forecast an increase. Japan will allow U.S. imports of beef from animals less than 30 months of age under an accord effective Feb. 1, the U.S. government said in a statement.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, cattle futures for April delivery rose 2 percent to $1.334 a pound, the biggest gain for a most-active contract since July 18.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement increased 1.3 percent to $1.499 a pound.

Hog futures for April settlement advanced 0.1 percent to 89.05 cents a pound.

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Corn rose the most in two weeks and soybeans gained on speculation that dry weather may harm crops in Argentina, while excess rain slows oilseed harvesting and grain planting in Brazil, increasing demand for U.S. supplies.

On the Chicago Board of Trade, corn futures for March delivery jumped 1.2 percent to $7.2925 a bushel, the biggest advance since Jan. 14.

Soybean futures for March delivery climbed 0.5 percent to $14.4775 a bushel, capping the first two-day gain since Dec. 24.

Wheat futures for March delivery gained 0.4 percent to $7.7925 a bushel.

CRUDE OIL

Crude oil advanced to a four-month high as orders for durable goods in the U.S. jumped, adding to economic optimism, and gasoline gained on the announcement that a New Jersey refinery will close.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, oil futures for March delivery rose 0.6 percent to $96.44 a barrel.

Brent oil for March settlement climbed 0.2 percent to $113.48 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Total SA failed to buy North Sea Forties crude at an unchanged differential from the previous session. Trafigura Beheer BV offered to sell a cargo of Brent without success.

Angola, Africa’s second-largest producer, will export 56 cargoes of crude in March, compared with 50 in February, a final loading program obtained by Bloomberg News showed.

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline rose to the highest since October after Hess Corp. said it will shut the Port Reading, New Jersey, refinery at the end of February.

On the Nymex, gasoline futures for February delivery jumped 2.1 percent to $2.9348 a gallon after reaching $2.9442, the highest since Oct. 11.

Heating-oil futures for February delivery climbed 0.2 percent to $3.0616 a gallon.

BASE METALS

Copper rose for the first time in four sessions on signs that manufacturing is gaining in China and the U.S., the world’s biggest users of the metal.

On the Comex in New York, copper futures for delivery in March advanced 0.3 percent to $3.6615 a pound.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months climbed 0.2 percent to $8,050 a metric ton ($3.65 a pound). Zinc, aluminum, lead and nickel also gained. Tin fell.

SOFT COMMODITIES

Cotton rose for the eighth time in nine sessions after Cotlook Ltd. cut its forecast for a global surplus by 2.4 percent.

On ICE Futures U.S. in New York, cotton for March delivery increased 0.7 percent to 81.05 cents a pound.

Raw-sugar futures for March delivery jumped 1.9 percent to 18.73 cents a pound.

Arabica-coffee futures for March delivery climbed 0.5 percent to $1.49 a pound.

Orange-juice futures for March delivery advanced 0.6 percent to $1.1405 a pound.

Cocoa futures for March delivery slid 0.6 percent to $2,161 a ton.

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas dropped the most in three months on revised forecasts for mild mid-February weather that would reduce demand for the heating fuel.

On the Nymex, gas futures for February delivery tumbled 4.5 percent to $3.289 per million British thermal units, the biggest drop since Oct. 22.

U.K. gas fell as predictions for above-average temperatures cut demand for the heating fuel.

The price slid 1.4 percent to 66 pence a therm at 4:07 p.m. London time. Month-ahead gas was little changed at 67.1 pence a therm. That’s equivalent to $10.54 per million Btu.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold futures fell to a two-week low amid signs that the global economy is improving, easing pressure on central banks to announce more stimulus measures.

On the Comex, gold futures for April delivery slid 0.2 percent to $1,655 an ounce after touching $1,653.20, the lowest since Jan. 11.

Silver futures for March delivery fell 1.4 percent to $30.78 an ounce, the third straight session.

On the Nymex, platinum futures for April delivery slumped 1.9 percent to $1,662.30 an ounce, the biggest drop since Dec. 20.

Palladium futures for March delivery declined 0.1 percent to $740.55 an ounce.

To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Galatola in New York at tgalatola@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net

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